Emerging Scientific Scholars Program

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The Emerging Scientific Scholars Program (ESSP) is a program for biomedical science students who come from underrepresented groups in the sciences.

Mission Statement

The Emerging Scientific Scholars Program (ESSP) is a professional development program for doctoral students in the biomedical sciences who are from backgrounds that have been historically excluded in the sciences. In the pre-matriculation phase, our program aims to provide students the mentoring and support they need to initiate their graduate studies at the Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences. Upon arrival, we will provide both peer and faculty mentoring to ease the transition and help students navigate the hidden curriculum of graduate school. The program is intentionally designed to strengthen each cohort as a community of scholars to increase feelings of belonging.

Learning Objectives

  • Establish skills needed to develop and manage a successful mentoring partnership 
  • Develop knowledge regarding resources and opportunities at BU 
  • Encourage community and networking opportunities among faculty and colleagues 
  • Gain information regarding important study skills and techniques needed to be successful in courses  
  • Grow confidence that the students have the right attributes to succeed in graduate school 
  • Develop a sense of belonging through gaining knowledge about the city of Boston and its neighborhoods

Short Term Goals

  1. Provide opportunities to network with peers, faculty, and members of the local Boston community​
  2. Promote a better understanding of how to navigate academic science​
  3. Support professional development and career advancement opportunities

Long -term Institutional/Program Goals & Theoretical Outcomes

  1. Better sense of belonging and institutional investment​
  2. Promote student retention ​
  3. Recruit and mentor (Underrepresented Graduate) URG students


The Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine affirms its longstanding commitment to recruiting and training a diverse scientific workforce. A diverse student body is consistent with the history and mission of Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine and is a core educational imperative of the institution for several reasons, including the following:

  • Working and learning with a group of people with a variety of different backgrounds and experiences promotes understanding and contributes to the breakdown of stereotypes and biases.
  • A diverse student body promotes a rich, lively, enlightened discussion and more nuanced understanding of science.
  • Diverse leadership in science is critical to progress in human health and in society as a whole.
  • A diverse student body will contribute to a diverse scientific workforce, supporting improvements in inclusive science that will be poised to reduce dispari3es in health status.

In our application and admissions processes, the word “diversity” is broadly construed, and can include geographic factors, socioeconomic status, educational and childhood experiences, immigration experiences, disability, and cultural and religious traditions. We believe that applicants who have experiences beyond what is typical for graduate students bring a particular value to their class and to science. We hope that applicants will share their extra-ordinary experiences with us in their applications.


        A summary of the monthly mentoring lunches for first year students is listed below, and they will be supplemented with monthly community building events to explore Boston and foster a sense of belonging.

         Session Topic
        Session 1 How to find a good mentor and be a mentee I (rotations)
        Session 2 Importance of stupidity in research (asking questions)
        Introduction to student groups
        Session 3 Budgeting & Taxes
        Session 4 Mental Health in Graduate School
        Session 5 Winter Holiday Party
        Session 6 Learning from your mistakes
        Session 7 Communication (Science Twitter, LinkedIn)
        Session 8 Outreach to prospective students
        How to find a good mentor and be a mentee II (thesis lab)
        Session 9 Funding Opportunities and Diversity Supplements
        Session 10 Career Planning: myIDP
        Session 11 Housing and Transportation Session (for incoming first years)
        Session 12 End of school year celebration

        Contact Information for the Emerging Scientific Scholars Program at BU GMS

        Reach out to the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine Diversity & Inclusion Office.
        Email: cameddeia@bu.edu